Chelsea 0-1 Valencia: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis | UEFA Champions League 2019-20
It was a shocking and unexpected result for Chelsea as they were beaten at home by Valencia in the Champions League opener last night.
Chelsea returned to Europe's elite football competition after a one-year gap as they only managed to qualify for Europa League last season and went on to win the final at Baku.
The Blues were expected to win in style as the Valencia squad cannot be fairly compared to the Chelsea squad on paper, and the Spanish club has not been having its best start to the season. They went into last night's game following a 5-2 drubbing by FC Barcelona on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Chelsea were in blistering form, having won 5-2 on away from home against Wolves on Saturday. The game saw Chelsea academy graduates Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham score goals for their club, with Abraham scoring a hat-trick in the game.
Last night, Chelsea started the game fairly well until the 16th minute when their in-form attacker Mount suffered an ankle injury which forced a change for manager Frank Lampard. Pedro Rodriguez was brought on as the replacement.
Chelsea dominated the game for most parts of the first half and the second half until Valencia's Rodrigo broke the deadlock in the 74th minute from a Daniel Parejo free-kick.
The game intensified and was turned back in the home team's favour when VAR (Video Assistant Referee) spotted a hand-ball in the Valencia penalty box and handed Chelsea a penalty.
Unfortunately, Ross Barkley hit the cross-bar and missed the penalty, and that was it. Valencia left England with 3 points last night after coming with the hope of at least getting a point out of the game.
Here are the top 5 talking points from the game, and the respective tactical analysis.
#5 Poor finishing and passes in the final third
Though Chelsea lost, it was not a very bad game for them considering the fact that the team created a lot of chances every now and then to get the required goals. But, it's the result that matters, and the Blues' failure to finish any of their attacks fruitfully culminated in them not even securing a point from the tournament opener.
Valencia keeper Jasper Cillessen was in great form last night and made some crucial saves. Also, the Valencia defence who were handicapped to respond to the constant Chelsea attacking threat maintained a disciplined attitude throughout the game.
The Londoners created almost more than 10 goal-scoring chances but failed to convert any, and in fact, only 6 out of the 10 were on target, while the others were blocked. There were times when Willian was clear and couldn't finish, whereas the other times Willian had options to pass the final ball to, just for the Brazilian to squander the opportunity.
Lampard might have to do something about this if he has to beat Liverpool on Sunday.